Reordering Reality

-a dispatch from the grief process

Grief is a reordering of reality. Reality as we have arranged it in our minds, in touch with the world, immersed in the world, becomes disordered when death occurs, even if we have contemplated on the meaning of death or experienced such loss of equilibrium before with the deaths of others we have known.

There are lots of descriptions of grieving processes but they seem to proceed from the abstract, conceptual realm rather than the material. That is an aspect which I think bears some examination.

Each grief episode reorders our material existence first, in that the physical body of our loved one is now non-functional and will not again become functional. Their biological existence is no more.

Then our conceptions about that person, their very “personhood” is seen to have ceased.

Then our relations with that person are recognized as being severed.

Then the contents of those relations, the particulars such as our emotions, our love and our sense of familiarity with the emotions and thoughts of our loved one are realized to be severed.

Then our assumptions, dreams, plans and future are rent asunder.

From the material to the most abstract is a long process. 

It takes quite a while to get used to.